Monday, March 6, 2017

Blood Grains Speak Through Memories, by Jason Sanford

Continuing the tour of this year's Nebula awards for novellas, I read Blood Grains Speak Through Memories today.  The title is interesting and unusual in that it is a compact, exact description of the story.  You don't see that every day.

The story itself is on the border between fantasy and technology.  We get hints of a post-apocalypse world, where some desperate means was taken or emerged to survive.  The lands are tended by "anchors", people who acquire a special connection to the land through the title's "grains".  Our protagonist is one such anchor, who is considering carrying out her late husband's plan to rid the world of the grains.  They protect the world, but commit a fair amount of evil in the process.

The world is pretty fully built out for a novella.  We get a good picture of what it's like to be an anchor on the land.  The writing is powerful without getting sappy.  I think this one is a contender, it will be hard to beat.  I like it enough to say four stars.  I haven't read any Jason Sanford in awhile (since 2010), but am glad he's back.

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